While the idea of the multi-disciplinary artist seems to be more and more common these days, Sarah White has already been at the renaissance game for nearly twenty years. White’s creative endeavors have taken her around the world, but Minneapolis is where she’s rooted. Her holistic approach to arts and activism have left a significant mark on her community, and her abundant ability to connect and create is an inspiration.
BLNCD: As a DJ, Recording Artist, Activist, Photographer, Organic Farmer, and Body Worker, what’s your secret to staying organized and focused?
SW: I would say I’m everything BUT organized and focused, but where I lack that, I am abundant with creative energy and passion. The bigger vision for collective healing and connection, kind of in a way, steers this ship that is my life. I lean into deep listening, universal and ancestral support, and power of the people to keep me moving forward. Even when at times I feel lost, there is always a way to make something feel, taste, sound or look beautiful.
BLNCD: Is there a creative pursuit that you feel particularly motivated by these days?
SW: Rest. I’ve been active for two decades in the community as an artist, activist, organizer, creator. For me, a dream I’m whispering into the cosmos, is some time to process and reflect. An artist sabbatical of sorts, fully funded. I would use that time to really cultivate the best way to use all that I have learned and all that I do into the most beautiful and efficient love song in action. That motivates me.
BLNCD: The work you’re doing to feed First Nations groups with free and organically farmed produce is incredible. How did the Divine Natural Ancestry farming initiative come about?
SW: [We] went to MOSES Conference, and Leah Penniman (Farming While Black) from Soul Fire Farm was speaking. We learned about how much of the agriculture practices here were not only stolen from African practices and rituals, but also how our ancestors were enslaved and forced to build this country on stolen land… and now less than 3% of our farmers are Black? We just naturally demanded Reparations and started to farm. There was no non-profit support, no sponsors– just us and spirit and community. We fed a lot of folk for free this summer, but we are tired. [LEARN MORE HERE]
BLNCD: Socially and politically these can feel like dark and turbulent times. How do you stay positive and motivated on days where it all feels like too much?
SW: Vulnerability has been the biggest healer. You see, part of what the dark forces want us to believe is that we are alone. We can be in a room all “together” on screens, but all feeling alone, hiding it, masking it. I use my voice, my art, my hands to show I am raw. Lonely. Scared. Angry. Nervous. Turned on. Excited. Depressed. I say it from my heart, let it flow like a river without second thought, and fearlessly release. Feeling my feels. The response? Others doing the same. Feeling seen. The more I do it, the more I find my community and the more overwhelming gratitude I get to swim in. How can you not feel motivated when you can be loved all exposed and messy? You can feel dark, but if someone can hold you in your darkness, this too will past. That is my motivation. I think we can all remember again. I’m doing this work now just starting with me. For my daughters. For my family. For my chosen family.
BLNCD: Looking back at your musical career thus far, what have been some highlights for you?
SW: Sitting back stage with Amy Winehouse, having no idea it was Amy Winehouse until she got on stage. It was actually pretty tragic– she didn’t look like herself. Honestly, it was messy, but I think writing Laughing At Ghosts, while my heart was completely broken, because my ex called me a Ghost. [The process] was the most beautiful and healing part of my musical journey thus far, but actually… the whole journey is my favorite.
BLNCD: Laughing at Ghosts was definitely an incredible album. Can we expect to see you back in the studio in 2020?
SW: Yes! I am already working on a few secret musical romances, but I am staying unattached. I will say yes to releasing music 2020. It will be very different than anything I’ve done before.
BLNCD: Haver you tried CBD products before? Do you like them?
SW: Yes. I use them as a massage therapist, as a general hands-on lover, and as a mother. I can’t wait to get my fingers on more. What an important gift of relief to many clients and people in my life with chronic pain.
Photography by Michael J. Spear
Interview by John Mark